In time for Remembrance Day, a curling trophy named for Nelson’s most famous World War II veteran has been donated to the city’s sports museum.
The Hampton Gray VC Memorial Trophy — also known as the Hampton Gray Cup — was created in 1946 in memory of Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, a pilot who died in an aerial attack in Japan shortly before the end of the war. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
Gray’s father was heavily involved in local curling. The trophy in his son’s name went to the winner of an annual bonspiel and was last awarded in 1962.
The trophy was rediscovered two years ago ahead of a visit to Nelson by Gray’s sister and niece. Touchstones archivist Laura Fortier found a newspaper clipping about it and asked the curling club where it went. Although in a trophy case, it was too high up for anyone to read the inscription.
The curling club’s Terri Richardson found one figure detached from the trophy, but it has since been reunited with the rest of the award.
Earle Cutler donated a display case for the curling exhibit that used to be in Norm’s Sport Centre, a Baker Street business that closed in the mid-1990s.
The sports museum in the Civic Centre arena has been a work in progress for several years, but kept regular visitor hours for the first time this summer.